Louisiana News

Three Louisiana legislative seats decided in special election primaries

(The Center Square) – Three Louisiana legislative seats were determined in recent special election contests despite occurring in district primaries.

Louisiana’s majority-vote system allows all candidates to run for an elected office in the same primary, sometimes called a “jungle primary.” A candidate can win the seat outright with more than 50% of the primary vote, which is what happened in House Districts 16 and 102 and Senate District 27.

According to the Louisiana Secretary of State’s office, all three primary contests produced outright winning candidates and negated the general elections scheduled for December.

Adrian Fisher, a Democrat, bested two other Democratic opponents during Saturday’s special election primary for House District 16, which represents parts of Morehouse and Ouachita parishes. Fisher received 69% of 3,507 total votes.

In House District 102, Democrat Delisha Boyd defeated fellow Democrat Jordan Bridges in a two-candidate race for the Orleans Parish seat, 62%-38%. Turnout was 26.6%, according to unofficial election returns.

Jeremy Stine, a Republican vying for Senate District 27, received 59% of 15,739 total votes, thereby winning the Calcasieu Parish seat formerly held by Sen. Ronnie Johns, R-Lake Charles. Democrat Dustin Granger received 39% of the vote, and Jacob Shaheen, a Republican, received 2%.

All three legislative districts held special elections to fill vacancies left by former officeholders.

Rep. Frederick Jones, D-Bastrop, left House District 16 in July after he was elected to the Fourth Judicial District Court. Rep. Gary Carter, D-New Orleans, vacated House Districted 102 in June upon being elected to the state Senate, also in a special election. Johns left office in July after Gov. John Bel Edwards appointed him to chair the Louisiana Gaming Control Board.

Orleans Parish, which has the same boundaries as the city of New Orleans, held a series of election contests Saturday, the most significant being the mayoral race.

Similar to the three legislative contests, a December general election will not be needed as incumbent Mayor LaToya Cantrell, a Democrat, decimated a crowded field of 14 candidates to achieve 65% of more than 75,000 votes.

Republican Vina Nguyen placed second with 13%, and Leilani Heno, who is nonparty affiliated, placed third with 9%.

Voters in all 64 parishes considered four constitutional ballot amendments on Saturday dealing with tax and budget issues. Only Amendment 2 passed, which will lower the state’s top individual income tax bracket from 6% to 4.75% beginning next year.

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